Fernando Alonso described the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as one of his best races after salvaging seventh place with a damaged car.

The McLaren driver collided with Sergey Sirotkin at the start of the race and suffered heavy damage. According to Alonso the team was unsure whether he would be able to continue.

“In the lap one incident we destroyed the car,” he said. “Two punctures, we damaged the floor, we damaged the front wing, we damaged everything.”

His car was “not turning to the left” as he returned to the pit lane. “I thought it was a DNF [did not finish].

“But because there was a Safety Car on the track we kept running with significant damage on the car. And we found ourselves for whatever reason very competitive and overtaking cars so we stay in the race.

“P7 is an unbelievable result, probably one of the best races I ever done.”

Alonso said some of his rivals need to be more restrained on the first lap of races.

“For me it could be managed in a different way,” he said. “The first lap when you are starting in the middle of the group the people don’t lift off.

“When you are in a situation where you will crash they prefer to crash with you than lifting off. There were three cars closing and no one lift off, I was on the inside and I took two flat tyres.”

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles